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CQ NRL bid would welcome Sharks

The head of a bid to get a NRL team in central Queensland says the community would welcome Cronulla, or another Sydney-based club, if any relocation transpired.
CQ NRL bid would welcome Sharks
by AAP

By Ed Jackson

GOLD COAST, Sept 25 AAP - The head of a bid to get a NRL team in central Queensland says the community would welcome Cronulla, or another Sydney-based club, if any relocation transpired.

According to News Corp Australia, league powerbrokers are believed to have discussed the option of moving the Sharks north if the cash-strapped club is burdened with a multi-million dollar fine arising from ASADA's investigation into their 2011 supplements program.

Among the locations mentioned as a possible new home for the Sharks is Rockhampton, if the relocation plans became reality.

Cronulla chief executive Steve Noyce moved quickly on Wednesday to reassure fans the Sharks were staying put.

"I think it's clear in the story that Dave Smith, CEO of the NRL, says there are no plans to move any clubs," Noyce told Triple M.

"These stories are frustrating, they're disappointing and, most of all, they're not true.

"What I can do is assure the Sharks' supporters and members, sponsors and all those great people in the (Sutherland) shire, we're not going anywhere."

CQ NRL Bid chief executive Denis Keeffe says his organisation would be happy to have the Sharks in the area if it achieved its goal of having a NRL team in central Queensland.

"It's not our favoured position; we'd rather build a club up from the grassroots," Keeffe told AAP.

"We will look at, seriously look at, a relocation solution to our problem.

"I'm excited by the possibility of that happening."

Keeffe said it would take some time for the Sharks or any Sydney club to become a proper central Queensland team but, eventually, the community would get behind the side.

"I don't think it would be instantaneous like their own club," he said.

"This is avid rugby league country ... if the strategies were right, we could put the local stamp onto an imported product fairly quickly, in my opinion."

Keeffe said at no point during recent discussions with NRL officials has relocation been specifically brought up but it had been made clear the league is aiming to reduce the number of teams based in Sydney.

"They said it was obvious to them at this stage that nine clubs in Sydney was a few too many and three clubs in Queensland was a few too less," he said.

"I think the process has probably started in their considerations of how do we rationalise this league going forward."




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